Kees joined Watsi on November 13th, 2015. Seven years ago, Kees joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Kees' most recent donation traveled 4,100 miles to support Maxwell, a 5 year old boy from Kenya, to fund clubfoot repair surgery.
Kees has funded healthcare for 90 patients in 11 countries.
Kees has funded healthcare for 90 patients in 11 countries.
Maxwell is a charming, five year old boy from Kenya. He and his three older siblings live with their single mother, who works as a laundry aide and also as a small scale farmer. Maxwell was born with clubfoot, for which he has received treatment with casting and orthotics since birth. However, due to financial challenges, he was unable to undergo serial casting and other necessary procedures, which has left him with pain when walking for long distances. Fortunately, Maxwell's family now traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 16th. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,286 to fund Maxwell's clubfoot repair. After treatment, Maxwell will be able to walk comfortably, without discomfort or pain. Maxwell's mother said: "I am requesting support from the donors to help my son undergo surgery so that he can have a normal life."
Myo is a 14-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents in a village in Karen State. His mother is a homemaker who is currently eight months pregnant. His father is a subsistence farmer, but he also works as a day laborer to earn money. Myo is in grade six and he enjoys playing football in his free time. Two years ago, Myo developed a pain in his arm which he noticed while playing football with his friends. Right away he was in a lot of pain, but his arm did not look broken. At first, the pain lessened, but gradually the pain worsened and his upper left forearm became swollen. Myo could also feel a mass under the swollen area of his left forearm. Myo and his father went to Chiang Mai Hospital, where he received a MRI and other tests, as well as a biopsy which confirmed that the tumor in his forearm was cancer. Now he needs surgery to remove the tumor, and he will need a chemo after surgery. The enlarged mass in Myo's left forearm has not increased in size, and only causes him pain when he lifts something heavy or when he does any physical activity with that arm such as washing his clothes or cleaning. Although he can take a shower by himself, using only his right arm makes it challenging. When he plays with his friends, he needs to protect his left forearm to prevent getting hurt. Myo's family sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. He is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on December 8th, and his family needs help funding the $1,500 cost to cover his procedure and care. He said, “I feel sorry for my mother and I pity her that she has to stay alone with the new baby. I also feel sad that I cannot go to school this year. I want to recover quickly and go back to see my brother and mother.”
Jovia is a small-scale farmer. She hails from a village in Southwestern Uganda. She is a mother to six children with four sons, all small scale farmers. All her daughters are married and are farmers as well. She never attended any school being that her father died when she was still young and her mother couldn’t afford paying her school fees. Now she does farming together with her husband. They normally grow food crops for their family to eat but are able to sell off the surplus to generate an income for their family's upkeep. However, this income is not sufficient to raise money needed for her surgery and therefore they appeal for support. Since April, Jovia has been experiencing severe symptoms. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $219 to fund Jovia's surgery. On September 8th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Jovia will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Jovia says “I feel bad every day. My health is getting worse now, had I had money, I could have received my treatment already but I can’t due to limited finances. I kindly request for your support to save my life.”
Lynemandy is a 28 year old woman from Haiti, who is studying for a business degree at a local university. She lives with her parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Lynemandy has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation, which is a result of a bout of rheumatic fever that she suffered as a child. One of the four valves in her heart was severely damaged as a result of this illness, and in 2018, Lynemandy underwent surgery to repair the damaged valve. The valve functioned well for four years, but now it needs to be replaced so she can live healthy in the future. The care she needs is unfortunately not available within Haiti, so Lynemandy will need to travel to undergo cardiac surgery in the United States on November 17th. Her surgery, during which a new valve will be implanted, is being funded by Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital. Now Lynemandy and her family need to raise $1,500 to cover the costs of pre and post operative treatment, and for the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Lynemandy when she travels to the United States. Lynemandy said: "I am very grateful to everyone who is working so hard to keep me alive and healthy."
Meet Sokhorn, a recently married 27 year old man, living with his wife in Cambodia. Sokhorn works at a factory that produces automobile and motorcycle plates, and when he has free time, he enjoys swimming, running, and keeping up with current events. In August 2022, when he was on his motorcycle delivering food, Sokhorn was in a collision with a car. He fractured his left tibia, and was operated on at a local hospital. An external fixation device to keep the bones in place was used, and Sokhorn was sent home to heal. Because he lacked the money to do so, Sokhorn never followed up with the doctors who treated him. He now finds that he has no range of motion in his ankle; has lost all sensation in the area where the surgery was performed, and he is unable to walk. He feels so unwell overall, that he no longer goes to work, leaving his wife as their sole support. Fortunately, a neighbor introduced Sokhorn to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, where he was diagnosed with a chronic infection of his wound, and osteomyelitis, an infection of the bone. Sokhorn needs debridement of the wound and reconstructive surgery, in order to save his leg and to heal completely. Thanks to Children's Surgical Centre, Sokhorn is scheduled for this life changing procedure on October 6th, at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre. Now he needs your help to fund the $991 required to cover the costs of his surgery and care. Sokhorn said: "I hope the doctors will fix my leg so I have no more infections. I want to find work so I can support my wife and have a good life with her."
Primer is a father of three from Haiti. He lives in a small village in southwestern Haiti with his wife and three children; he is a farmer and sells produce in the local market. Primer has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of his heart is severely damaged as the result of a rheumatic infection he suffered a number of years ago, and cannot adequately pump blood through his heart and body. The surgery that Primer needs is not available anywhere in the country so he will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On September 13th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove the damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $9000 to pay for surgery. Primer's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also covers travel expenses for the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Primer's family overseas, as well as the cost of obtaining Prince's passport. Prince says: "I am very grateful to be having this surgery so I can take care of my family and see my children grow up."
Shwe is a 24-year-old woman who lives with her family in Burma and enjoys listening to Burmese pop music! Shwe previously worked in a factory, but she had to stop working last December when her health began to deteriorate. Her brother and stepfather both work as agricultural day laborers, and her sister-in-law and mother are both homemakers. The rest of her siblings are all waiting for schools to reopen so they can return to their studies. The schools were closed in February of 2021 following the Mayanmar military coup. About a year and a half ago, Shwe began to experience pain in her chest, as well as fatigue. She initially did not think that her symptoms were serious, but this changed after she fainted at work a few months later. After receiving an echocardiogram, she was diagnosed with mitral valve, aortic valve, and tricuspid valve regurgitation, which are all cardiac conditions that occur when the specified valve does not close properly. As a result, she experiences difficulty breathing, a rapid heartbeat, a lack of appetite, and trouble sleeping. She also feels very tired when walking longer distances. Shwe now needs cardiac surgery to help alleviate her symptoms and allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. However, once the doctor told her and her family the cost of surgery, they left the hospital because they could not pay for Shwe's needed procedure. Fortunately, they happened to meet a taxi driver who kindly told them about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). BCMF is now helping Shwe undergo cardiac surgery on August 12th at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Shwe and her family need your support to fund this $1,500 procedure. Shwe says, “When I recover fully, I will go back to work and work hard. I will save my money and support my family.”
Sai lives with his parents and sister in a village in Karen State in the border region of Burma where there is currently a lot of violence and instability. His sister is a teacher, while both he and his parents run a shop from their home, selling various items such as snacks, drinks, dry goods, and cement. In his free time, he loves to play cane ball with his friends. In early November 2021, Sai received treatment for COVID-19. While getting treatment, doctors also discovered that he was born with a hole in his heart, and he was diagnosed with atrial septal defect. A doctor in Yangon confirmed his diagnosis and told him that he needs surgery. He recommended he go to Thailand as the only other option was to receive surgery at a military hospital in Burma, which have been impacted in the recent humanitarian crisis. Sai's aunt suggested he seek treatment at a clinic in Thailand and he was referred to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial support to make his care possible. Now, Sai is raising $1,500 for his Atrial Septal Defect Closure procedure, which is scheduled for July 12th. Sai said, “I would like to receive surgery as soon as possible so that I can help my parents like before. Now, my father has to do all the hard and heavy work, which is not good for him as he is getting old.”
Thu Zar is a 21-year-old woman who lives with her parents, three sisters, and three nieces in Mae Sot near the Thailand-Burma border. Her family moved from Shan State in Burma to Thailand in 2008 in search of better opportunities. She used to work at a logistics company until two weeks ago when she quit due to her condition. Her parents run a small shop from their home, and her oldest sister is a cleaner at a restaurant. One of her other sister’s is unemployed and her third sister as well as her three nieces all go to school. In 2015, Thu Zar felt a small mobile mass in her chest. She did not feel any pain at the time and forgot about the mass. In 2019, she attended a workshop about reproductive health at her school, run by Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). During the workshop she remembered the mass and later when she was alone, she checked to see if it was still there. She felt the mass and thought that it had increased in size, but she did not experience any pain. The next day, she told the workshop trainer about the mass. The trainer told her to go to MTC for treatment. However, Thu Zar decided she did not want to take time off from school to go to the clinic, since she thought the mass was not causing her any pain or discomfort. Now, Thu Zar's condition has worsened and causes her great pain. She can only sleep on her back, because if she sleeps in any other position she experiences immense pain. Thu Zar sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on June 9th to heal her condition. She is raising $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Thu Zar is very worried about her health and told us, "I feel very sad and depressed with this condition."
Ko Kyaw lives with his wife and two daughters in the border region of Tak Province in Thailand. He is a homemaker while his wife works as a day laborer. He plans to send his older daughter to a Thai school in the new school year, but his younger daughter is still too young to go to school. In early 2021, Kyaw was still living in his village in Myawaddy Township in Burma but it has been a very challenging time for his community ever since the military coup. He and his wife were injured in an emergency involving the local soldiers who came to their area. Luckily other villagers came to their rescue and Kyaw was treated for fractures on both his upper and lower leg, where a metal rod was inserted to help him heal. Now the bone in his thigh is misshapen and doctors have diagnosed osteomyelitis (infected bone). His doctor told him that in order to heal, he would need to have the metal rods replaced in both his upper and lower leg. Currently, Kyaw’s left leg is in a lot of pain. He can only bend his leg slightly and needs to use crutches to get around. With his leg in pain, Ko Kyaw spends most of his time helping out with household chores he can do and teaching his oldest daughter how to read and write in Burmese. He feels frustrated that since his leg was broken, he cannot support his family. Our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund is helping to pay the cost of his treatment and is raising $1500 to cover his surgery, which will take place on May 10th. “I feel upset that I cannot support my family as the head of the house,” he said. “We only have my wife’s income. We do not have our own house to live in. I want to say a lot of things but I cannot express what I want to say. I never thought that I would lose my house, my possessions and that my leg would be in pain.”
U Chit is a 42-year-old husband and father from Burma. He lives with his in-laws, wife and son. His father-in-law works as a day laborer, while his wife and his mother-in-law are homemakers. U Chit used to work with his father-in-law, and also as a motorcycle taxi driver for extra income. However, he stopped working in January when his health worsened. When schools reopen, his son will begin kindergarten. A little over a year ago, U Chit began experiencing dizziness, fatigue, tightness in his chest and difficulty breathing when he exerted himself. A month later, he visited a local clinic where he was diagnosed with high blood pressure. However, in December 2021, U Chit lost a lot of weight and experienced night sweats in addition to his other symptoms. He was diagnosed with aortic valve regurgitation, mitral valve regurgitation and tricuspid valve regurgitation, and was placed on a waiting list to receive surgery. Because his condition is severe, the doctor recommended that he undergo surgery as soon as possible. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping U Chit access treatment. On April 8th, he will undergo mitral valve replacement surgery at BCMF's care center. After recovery, his symptoms should improve. Now, he needs help raising $1,500 to fund his procedure and care. U Chit shared, "I gave up and I was ready to die before. There are a lot of heart patients waiting to receiving surgery. Since I heard that I could have surgery with the help of donors, I feel like there is hope that I will survive. I have to look after my family because my son is still young. I will always remember everything the donors did for me."
Darensky is a 10-year-old student from Haiti. He lives with his mother and grandparents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He is in the third grade and likes building things and making crafts. Darensky has a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus and tracheal ring. Two holes exists between two major blood vessels near his heart; blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs, leaving him weak and oxygen-deprived. The treatment that Darensky needs is not available in Haiti, so he will fly to United States to undergo surgery. Many years ago he had one hole closed so this is the second surgery he needs, and his family has been waiting for this moment for a long time. Fortunately, on March 10th, Darensky will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the remaining hole that leaks blood between his two main blood vessels at the same time. During the surgery, he will also have a muscular blockage removed from his trachea that affects his ability to breathe. Another organization, Akron Children's Hospital, is contributing $12,000 to help pay for surgery. Darensky's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Darensky's family overseas. HIs mother told us: "I am very happy to know that after this surgery my son will finally be able to run and play normally!"